View Full Version : Stefan Logan dazzles with a punt return TD (Game summary thread)

09-03-2009, 10:47 PM
Stefan Logan dazzles with a punt return TD
By Scott Brown
Thursday, September 3, 2009

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- If he hadn't locked up a spot on the 53-man roster prior to Thursday, Stefan Logan left little if any doubt that he will open the regular season with the Steelers.

The team's most dazzling player of the preseason returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown less than two minutes into the exhibition finale last night at Bank of America Stadium.

The Steelers ultimately won the game, 21-10. In doing so, Logan, the smallest player on the Steelers, may have stood tallest among those making their final argument to belong on the 53-man roster. In addition to his return, Logan gained 27 yards on a pair of reverses, showing the coaches that he also might add some big-play capability to the offense in addition to special teams, where the Steelers desperately need it.

Teams must submit their rosters to the NFL by Saturday afternoon, and the Steelers likely will announce some of their cuts today when coach Mike Tomlin holds a 4 p.m. news conference at the team's South Side facility.

Logan, one of the biggest surprises of the preseason, isn't the only player who could make these cuts as difficult as any Tomlin has had to make since taking over as coach in January 2007.

Running back is a position where some hard decisions will have to be made.

Isaac Redman, a rookie undrafted free agent, scored his third touchdown of the preseason last night, and it came on as impressive a run as the Steelers have had in exhibition play.

Redman broke several tackles on the way to a 10-yard score that helped stake the Steelers to an early 14-0 lead.

His touchdown was set up by outside linebacker Arnold Harrison, another player who finds himself squarely on the cut line. Harrison gave the Steelers excellent field position in the first quarter when he knocked the ball out of quarterback Josh McCown's right hand and recovered the fumble at the Panthers' 34.

In the second quarter, Harrison and safety Ryan Mundy combined to stuff Mike Goodson for no gain behind the line of scrimmage on fourth and one from the Steelers' 23.

Last night's preseason finale was crucial for players such as Logan, Redman, Harrison and Mundy, the Woodland Hills High School graduate who helped his cause with several big plays, including an interception that he returned 31 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter.

Starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger played just one series and threw one pass before swapping his helmet for a baseball cap and a spot on the sideline.

Like the starters on offense, the Steelers' first-team defense also spent minimal time on the field.

After the Steelers forced a three-and-out on the opening possession of the game, Tomlin made wholesale substitutions on defense.

By then, the Steelers led the Panthers 7-0, thanks to the dynamic Logan.

The 5-foot-6, 180-pounder fielded a low punt by Jason Baker at the Steelers' 20-yard line and made a couple of Panthers tacklers miss. After breaking through the first wave of defenders, Logan proved to be more than a match for the back end of the Panthers' punt coverage team.

After racing into the end zone, Logan leaped into the stands in the north end of the stadium where a small contingent of Steelers fans were celebrating.

They had every reason to cheer Logan, the former Canadian Football League standout who looks as if he is ready to graduate to the NFL. During the preseason, Logan averaged 37.0 yards on kickoff returns and 21.2 yards on punt returns.

Those numbers are gaudy enough to think they will add up to a more significant one: 53

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

09-03-2009, 10:48 PM
Little to see in Steelers' 21-10 win over Panthers
Thursday, September 03, 2009
By Mike Cranston, The Associated Press
Peter Diana/Post-Gazette

Steelers Isaac Redman is hit by umpire Scott Dawson and holds on to the ball scoring the Steelers second touchdown of the game in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Pittsburgh's first team defense forced a three-and-out, Stefan Logan returned a punt for a touchdown, and the Steelers' second unit made Carolina punt before Ben Roethlisberger hit the field.

He threw one swing pass for seven yards on third-and-9 and called it a night.

With the Super Bowl champions opening the real season in a week, coach Mike Tomlin took few chances in the final exhibition Thursday, a 21-10 victory over the Panthers.

The first-team offense and defense took three snaps apiece, with the defense finishing the preseason without allowing a touchdown despite NFL defensive player of the year James Harrison not even suiting up.

Carolina, meanwhile, did little to ease concerns in what was a shaky, injury-plagued and winless preseason.

Jake Delhomme was 2 of 4 for 19 yards before exiting after two series, seven plays and one first down as the first-team offense finished with one touchdown in four exhibitions.

The first-team defense is the bigger concern, banged-up and unable to stop even Pittsburgh's reserves.

With Roethlisberger already wearing a baseball cap, rookie running back Isaac Redman may have cemented his spot on the 53-man roster by barreling over Chris Harris, Julius Peppers and others on a 10-yard touchdown run.

Coupled with Logan's 80-yard punt return, Pittsburgh (3-1) led 14-0 before the barrage of third-stringers entered early in the second quarter.

Sloppiness ensued.

Backup quarterback Josh McCown lost a fumble for Carolina (0-4). So did rookie running back Mike Goodson. It was recovered by Pittsburgh linebacker Donovan Woods, who injured his hamstring on the return.

Ryan Mundy returned Matt Moore's interception 31 yards to give Pittsburgh a 21-7 third-quarter lead.

The concern for Pittsburgh was the number of reserves banged up in a game where a combined 44 players won't be around after Saturday. Defensive tackle Scott Paxson (concussion) and receivers Dallas Baker (hip) and Tyler Grisham (shoulder) all left.

The Steelers decided not to even put Harrison, not listed as being injured, on the field. Receiver Santonio Holmes (back) and running back Willie Parker (hamstring) didn't dress and linebacker Lawrence Timmons (ankle) didn't travel.

The performance provided little optimism in a tumultuous week for Carolina. Owner Jerry Richardson's two sons abruptly resigned from the organization on Tuesday. Richardson, still recovering from a February heart transplant, hired TCU athletic director Danny Morrison a day later to replace Mark Richardson as team president.

A cheerful Morrison attended the game, greeting fans and reporters. But with Jerry Richardson watching from his luxury box, the Panthers looked little like last year's NFC South-winning club.

Starting linebackers Jon Beason (knee) and Na'il Diggs (undisclosed) and safety Charles Godfrey (hand) didn't play for a poor-tackling defense that hasn't found its way under new coordinator Ron Meeks. It didn't help that rookie defensive tackle Corvey Irvin left with a knee injury.

Goodson rushed 15 times for 79 yards and Jamall Lee had a 1-yard TD run for Carolina. Redman rushed for 79 yards for the Steelers, who will get to celebrate their Super Bowl title and play a real game with their stars next week against Tennessee.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
First published on September 3, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09246/995527-66.stm#ixzz0Q8q2jnB1